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Environmental Stewardship News

Posted on: December 13, 2023

San Juan Island Plastic Film Recycling Program Needs Your Help

Environmental Stewardship

San Juan County, December 13, 2023 — San Juan County encourages the public to be careful and thoughtful when utilizing the plastic film recycling program. The first batch of plastic film since the recycling drop-off location at Marketplace was added in July was delivered to Lautenbach Recycling in Ferndale earlier this month. It was reported that there was a high percentage of crinkly, non-stretchy film in the load. These contaminants were found in collection bags from both the Town of Friday Harbor and Marketplace programs.

“Think pre-mixed salad bags, tortilla chip bags, and heavy-duty frozen food bags. These items may make it hard for some of the load to be recycled effectively,” said Katie Fleming, San Juan County’s Solid Waste Coordinator.

Additionally, Fleming clarified that the reusable blue plastic grocery bags distributed at Marketplace, Kings, and Roche Harbor are not compatible with the current recycling program due to their thickness. "We encourage community members to maximize the utility of these plastic bags through reuse and to consider bringing their own bags, as they are not easily recyclable," Fleming added.

The County-managed bin at Marketplace and the Town of Friday Harbor curbside program both accept clean and dry Ziploc® brand bags, produce bags, shipping envelopes (with the labels cut out), bread bags, case overwrap, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, flexible product wrap, air pillows, and bubble wrap. Residents are advised to exclude any questionable materials from their loads or reach out to Katie Fleming at or 360-762-5821 for guidance.

Expressing gratitude for the active participation of dedicated citizens, Fleming emphasized the necessity of maintaining uncontaminated batches for the success of the recycling initiative. "We appreciate the support from the community members who are participating, either through the Marketplace bin or the Town of Friday Harbor's curbside program. Keeping our batches free from contaminants is crucial to the success of this project," Fleming stated.

The recycling program is a collaborative effort between San Juan County's Department of Environmental Stewardship, the Town of Friday Harbor, SC Johnson, and Lautenbach Recycling.

 Media Contact

Katie Fleming

Solid Waste Coordinator


About San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship   

San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship is responsible for solid waste, marine resources, clean water, cultural resources, and climate and sustainability work.  The department offices are located at 915 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship, visit


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